Never have I felt so close to the words of a man. Never have I felt so helpless among my fellow men.

Gli italiani

Pier Paolo Pasolini

L’intelligenza non avrà mai peso, mai
nel giudizio di questa pubblica opinione.
Neppure sul sangue dei lager, tu otterrai

da uno dei milioni d’anime della nostra nazione,
un giudizio netto, interamente indignato:
irreale è ogni idea, irreale ogni passione,

di questo popolo ormai dissociato
da secoli, la cui soave saggezza
gli serve a vivere, non l’ha mai liberato.

Mostrare la mia faccia, la mia magrezza –
alzare la mia sola puerile voce –
non ha più senso: la viltà avvezza

a vedere morire nel modo più atroce
gli altri, nella più strana indifferenza.
Io muoio, ed anche questo mi nuoce.

Italians

 Pier Paolo Pasolini

Intelligence will never carry weight, never
in the judgement of this public opinion.
Not even on the blood of the camps, not ever,

from the millions of souls of our nation,
a clear judgement, indignant entirely:
unrealistic is every idea, unrealistic every passion,

from this people by now for centuries
disassociated, whose suave shrewdness
is needed to live, and has never freed them.

To show my face, my leanness –
to raise my voice, my sole puerile voice –
make no more sense: baseness

accustoms one to the killing so heinous
of others, in the strangest indifference.
I die, and to me this too is ruinous.

 

Translation by ©Matilda Colarossi

Pier Paolo Pasolini was an Italian poet, journalist, philosopher, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, newspaper and magazine columnist, actor, painter and political figure. He was a highly controversial figure whose work remains controversial to this day.

Gli Italiani  is from “La Guinea”, Poesia in forma di rosa, in “Bestemmia”, volume one, Garzanti, Milano 1993

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